Emerald Ridge percussionists heading to state competition

Band director Scott Fry says he is proud of ensemble’s work ethic

Staff writerApril 23, 2014 

Emerald Ridge High School’s percussion ensemble will be heading to state competition Friday at Central Washington University. Pictured are junior Max Cook, from left, junior Matthew Kusche, junior Matthew Wells, senior Cameron Schmidt, junior Jarrett-Biggs Herron and senior Eric Hull.


Percussionists from Emerald Ridge High School will travel to Central Washington University on Friday for the State Solo/Ensemble Contest, along with dozens of other students representing the Puyallup School District.

“This is remarkable because (Emerald Ridge percussionists) qualified for state in every category that we entered,” said Scott Fry, band director at Emerald Ridge.

Categories that Emerald Ridge qualified for are large percussion ensemble, snare duo in the small percussion category, and solo entries in mallet and snare percussion.

“(The percussionists) have established themselves as really hard workers,” Fry said. “I’m impressed by their work ethic as a group. They came in this year very much motivated. I felt like they wanted to do well on their own. Last year, they created a culture that if you wanted to be part of the group then you wanted to do well.”

Fry has taught band at Emerald Ridge for the past six years.

“I feel lucky to work at a place where support is high and the students are great,” Fry said.

On Friday, the Puyallup School District will send a total of nine ensemble entries and 16 solo entries to CWU for state.

Bruce Leonardy, the district’s secondary arts coordinator and a band instructor at Rogers High School, said the results from the Valley Region Solo Ensemble Contests on Feb. 22 at Puyallup High School reflect “a pretty normal year” for the district.

“The vast majority of solo and ensemble state entries from our region come from the Puyallup School District,” Leonardy said. “Historically ... the Puyallup School District possibly has the most state champions of any district throughout the state as well. We are extremely proud of this solo/ensemble tradition in Puyallup.”

The Valley Region Schools include the Puyallup, Sumner and Federal Way school districts, and Cascade Christian School.

State competition

The Emerald Ridge High School Percussion Ensemble is Jarrett Biggs-Herron, Max Cook, Eric Hull, Matthew Kusche, Cameron Schmidt and Matthew Wells. The snare duo category is Hull and Biggs-Herron. Snare soloist is Hull and mallet soloist is Wells.

Andrew Fickes: 253-552-7001 andrew.fickes @puyallupherald.com Twitter: @herald_andrew

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